Document Detail

Head injury-related road crash mortality in rural Western Australia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11736829     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The aim of the present paper was to assess the incidence of, and identify factors associated with road crash (RC)-related fatal head injuries in rural and metropolitan Western Australia. METHODS: Examination of demographics, driving behaviour and RC characteristics for RC fatalities involving a head injury (Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) > or = 2) between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 1999 was carried out using the State Coronial Database. RESULTS: There were 328 deaths. The median age was 28 years and 74.1% of cases were male. Seventy per cent died at the scene. Of scene survivors, 89% were transferred to a metropolitan hospital before dying. Sixty per cent of total RC and 65% of at-scene deaths occurred in rural areas. Single-vehicle crashes comprised 45% of total crashes, of which 72.8% occurred in rural locations. Poor driver behaviour was identified in 53% of deaths. Ethanol was implicated in 29.8% of deaths, other intoxicating drugs were implicated in 19.2%, speeding was implicated in 19.5%, and lack of safety restraints/devices was implicated in 22%. Poor driver behaviour was identified in 72% of single-vehicle deaths, compared with 38% of multivehicle crashes (P < 0.001). Rural people comprised 61% of rural crash victims. Ninety-one per cent of rural victims died in rural crashes. The incidence of RC death associated with head injury in the rural population is 13.4 deaths/100 000 per year, more than double that for the metropolitan population (6.4 deaths/100 000 per year; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The rural population of Western Australia is overrepresented in head injury-related RC deaths. Single-vehicle crashes where unsafe driving behaviour is implicated comprise a large proportion of these. Strategies to reduce unsafe driving practices aimed at rural drivers are necessary.
J Stella; P Sprivulis; C Cooke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  ANZ journal of surgery     Volume:  71     ISSN:  1445-1433     ISO Abbreviation:  ANZ J Surg     Publication Date:  2001 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-12-12     Completed Date:  2002-01-04     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101086634     Medline TA:  ANZ J Surg     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  665-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Emergency Department, Fremantle Hospital and Forensic Pathology Department, Pathcentre, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality*
Rural Population
Western Australia / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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